Certain Rivers CLOSED Due to Drought Conditions

July 16, 2015

The Yakima remains open and is fishing well.  The guides reported high water temperatures of 66 degrees in the Lower Canyon today and the fish were strong, healthy, and none left the water.  Keep 'em wet.  We will be monitoring the conditions on the Yakima and will keep you updated if things take a turn for the worse.

Take notice of some of the restrictions here announced by WDFW today - effective this Saturday!  This is an unprecedented move and we support these guys.  This announcement came after much discussion and we appreciate all the thought and work that they are putting into managing our fisheries.  Good job WDFW.    

Drought conditions prompt fishing

closures, restrictions on numerous rivers


OLYMPIA ? State fishery managers are closing or restricting fishing on more than 30 rivers throughout Washington to help protect fish in areas where drought conditions have reduced flows and increased water temperatures.  


The closures and restrictions take effect Saturday (July 18) at 12:01 a.m. The changes will remain in effect until further notice.


Fishing will be closed in some waters, and limited in others each day to the hours between midnight and 2 p.m. These ?hoot-owl? restrictions will go into effect on rivers where fishery managers want to reduce stress on fish during the hottest time of day.


High water temperatures can be deadly for fish, such as trout, while diminished stream flows can strand migrating salmon and steelhead, said Craig Burley, fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).


?With such extreme drought conditions in several areas of the state, we needed to take these steps to help protect vulnerable fish in waters where we have concerns,? Burley said. ?We?ll continue monitoring stream conditions throughout Washington this summer and take additional actions if necessary.?


For details on the closures and restrictions, check the emergency regulations, which will be posted tomorrow on WDFW?s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.


Fishing closures and restrictions are listed by region below. Today?s action does not include any rivers in Region 6 (South Sound/Olympic Peninsula). However, earlier this summer, the department closed fishing on a section of the Sol Duc River to protect returning chinook during drought conditions.


Region 1 ? Eastern Washington


Closed to fishing:

·       North Fork Touchet River above Spangler Creek.

·       South Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Griffen Fork and above Griffen Fork.

·       Wolf Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Coates Creek and Robinson Fork.

·       Asotin Creek and tributaries (Asotin Co.) from the mouth to headwaters.

·       Kettle River and all tributaries (Ferry Co.) from the Barstow Bridge to the headwaters, all portions contained within Washington.


Hoot-owl restrictions:

·       Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) from McDonald Road Bridge to the Oregon State Boundary.

·       Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South forks.

·       North Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Spangler Creek.

·       Tucannon River (Columbia/Garfield Co.) From the Highway 12 Bridge to Cow Camp Bridge.

·       Spokane River (Spokane/Lincoln Co.) from upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State Boundary.

·       Spokane River tributaries, including Little Spokane River and tributaries (Spokane/Pend Oreille/Stevens Counties) from the State Route 25 Bridge upstream to Monroe Street Dam.

·       Colville River and all tributaries (Stevens Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.

·       Sullivan Creek and all tributaries (Pend Oreille Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.


Region 2 ? North Central Washington


Closed to fishing:

·       Wenatchee River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to the Icicle River Road Bridge.

·       Icicle River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

·       Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)

·       Okanogan River from the Hwy 97 bridge upstream to Zosel Dam, except open to game fish fishing.

·       Similkameen River from the mouth upstream to Enloe Dam.


Region 3 ? South Central Washington


Closed to fishing:

·       Ahtanum Creek, including the north and middle forks

·       Little Naches River

·       Teanaway River, including west, middle and north forks


Hoot-owl restrictions:

·       Naches River from Tieton River to Bumping River/Little Naches River

·       Rattlesnake Creek


Region 4 ? North Puget Sound


Closed to fishing:

·       Raging River (King Co.) from the mouth upstream.

·       Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) from the mouth upstream closed to all fishing, except the section around Reiter Ponds remains open from the Gold Bar/Big Eddy Access (Hwy. 2 Bridge) upstream to the confluence of the North and South forks.

·       Wallace River (Snohomish Co.). From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.

·       Stillaguamish River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) From Marine Drive upstream including the North and South forks and all tributaries.

·       South Fork Nooksack (Whatcom Co.) From the mouth to Skookum Creek, and from Wanlick Creek to headwaters including Wanlick and all tributaries.

·       Suiattle River (Skagit Co.) Tributaries Buck, Downey and Sulpher Creeks.


Hoot-owl restrictions:

·       North Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.

·       South Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish/King Co.) From Sunset Falls upstream and all tributaries, including the Beckler, Foss, Miller and Rapid rivers and their tributaries.

·       Sauk River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) Above the Suiattle River including the North Fork to the falls and the South Fork to headwaters.

·       Samish River (Skagit Co.) From I-5 to headwaters, and Friday Creek upstream.


Region 5 ? Southwest Washington


Closed to fishing:

·       East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park downstream.

·       Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge downstream.


Hoot-owl restrictions:

·       East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park upstream.

·       Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge upstream.


WDFW has also closed fishing for spring chinook on the Grande Ronde River in eastern Washington due to low river flows.


For more information about drought?s impact on fish and wildlife, visit WDFW?s drought webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/drought/.

  1. Joe, what is the shop's policy for those of us that have trip's booked, and that particular river gets closed. Thanks for keeping, this blog going!
  2. Geoff, we'll be in touch. The upper Yakima is staying cooler and we plan to present some work around or options.
  3. Is the Manastash Creek destination class still on for Sunday?
  4. The instructor is looking it over and will make the call. If he does it, it will be a morning trip, and he will be contacting any students that are signed up for it with details. Thanks!
  5. Unfortunately we have elected to cancel (postpone) the Manastash outing. We will pick it back up next year. Thanks for the support everyone.
  6. It will clearly get worse on the Yakima and elsewhere by August, and likely extremely critical by early September. Everyone should put their trout and salmon gear in the attic and look around for their old crappie jigs.